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TUV : Toyota Prius Most Reliable Car. Mazda 2 and 3 Scores Well Too

POSTED BY admin ON 12 January 2012

When asked about vehicle quality, most people refer to JD Power IQS (Initial Quality Survey). But the problem with JD Power surveys is that they are paid for by car manufacturers, and sometimes car companies pay JD Power for the rights to use their logo on their advertisements. This practice influence JD Power to tailor their survey methodologies to the needs of car manufacturers rather than consumers. Car manufacturers are less interested in finding out how well their 5-year old models fare and is more interested in the current models that they are selling. Consumers on the other hand, may be interested in buying used models and want to know how well can their cars hold up post-warranty period.

Currently, JD Power’s IQS survey only includes cars that are less than a year old. The nature of the survey (subjective answers from the respondent) also means subjective complaints on design related matters are lumped together with genuine defects. A complaint on noisy engine or small cupholders, which is not a defect but a design characteristic that unfortunately does not meet the expectation of a particular owner, is grouped in the same way as say an automatic transmission breaking down. Plus, the exact weighting methodologies used in computing the results are never revealed to the public. Which is why we don’t recommend people taking JD Power IQS results very seriously.

Unfortunately on this side of the world, there isn’t any other option for consumers to refer to. In the US, Consumer Reports, which does not receive any form of payment or advertising from car manufacturers, and receives direct input from actual car owners, is highly influential. In Germany, TÜV (Technischer berwachungs-Verein short for Technical Inspection Association) publishes an annual vehicle reliability survey.

TÜV’s vehicle reliability report is considered one of the most authoritative in the world because it is based on actual vehicle inspection result. In Germany, all cars older than 3-years old are required to undergo mandatory inspectations every two years. TÜV is one such body authorized by the German government to carry out inspections, and these inspections are nothing like those done by our PUSPAKOM. A single rust spot on the body structure is enough to fail the entire test. 1 out 5 cars will fail their first attempt. Car owners are given two chances, failing both the car must be permanently removed from the road. It is second only to the Japanese Shaken inspection as the toughest and most expensive government mandated vehicle inspection.

This is no random survey data done with people who can't differentiate between buying the wrong car and a genuine problem. Every single data used by TÜV is gathered by a trained technician using proper service tools.

This is no random survey data done with people who can’t differentiate between buying the wrong car and a genuine problem. Every single data used by TÜV is gathered by a trained technician using proper service tools.

Cars that passed their inspection will be given a certificate of road worthiness sticker on their registration plate

TÜV then compiles the vehicle defect data by model and vehicle age, before publishing its Reliability Report at reputable German car magazines like Auto Bild.

For the second time in a row, the Toyota Prius is found to be Germany’s most reliable car, with only 1.9% of all Prius tested having major defects. However this refers to the second generation Prius (current generation is less than 3-years and not subjected to inspection yet). TÜV says this result confirms TÜV SÜD’s assumptions that electric drives for vehicles are safe, suitable for everyday use and technologically mature. Bernhard Kerscher, CEO of TÜV SÜD Auto Service GmbH said “The Prius points the way to the future of mobility. Its eminent suitability for daily use confirms the findings that TÜV SÜD has amassed in recent years as the leading service provider in the e-mobility sector.”

Toyota also has the honour of having the most models in the Top-5 most reliable cars list in all categories tested.

Both the Mazda 2 and Mazda 3 are also very reliable, consistently appearing in the Top-10 list in 3 age categories.

Germany's most reliable car, and yet people still ask about how reliable is the hybrid system.

Mazda 2

Mazda 3

Below is the list of Top-10 most reliable and Bottom-10 least reliable models from this year’s TUV Reliability Report 2012.